Resume tips for tech

August 20, 2006

Like every hiring manager in the tech business I look at resumes almost daily; and like every hiring manager I have my own peeves. The top 5:

1. Never put your home address on there. Totally unnecessary and possibly prejudicial (e.g. “Our office is in Mt View, this guy lives in Pleasanton, it’s not worth interviewing him cause the commute will be too much for him.”).

2. Give out your cellphone number, and then answer your cellphone even if you don’t recognize the caller. You’d be surprised just how many people give out a phone number they never answer, like their home number. I even know one guy who sent out a batch of resumes with his old, expired home phone number!

3. Use an easy-to-type email address. Those of you who know my personal email address know that I’ve been guilty of violating this rule.

4. Don’t put too much crap — like objectives — at the beginning. Most hiring managers are only going to read the top 3 bullet paragraphs on your resume, so if you fill up that area with meaningless fluff you’ll never get the job. Whatever you got, get to it fast. One exception to the “no objectives” rule: if you are making a significant break in the narrative of your resume (like a career change), a one-sentence objective is probably necessary.

5. Quality, not quantity. I don’t care about your job at Dairy Queen when you were 16 years old! If you don’t have any truly relevant job experience, at least don’t waste my time trying to front about it.

Did I mention that Renkoo is looking for a senior interaction designer and a senior web developer? 🙂

OSCON06 recap

August 20, 2006

[I wrote this July 25th 2006, but didn’t remember to post till today.] Last year the big story at OSCON was enterprise software (yawn), but this year to my joy it looks like the story is going to be a renaissance of webdev tools. For a long time there was very little innovative new web development happening, thus there was little demand for new tools… but beginning around 18 months ago, it seems like there’s been an explosion of energy going into cool testing ideas.

I’ve been focusing on testing tools this year, because I’m desperately concerned with how to test a site with a DHTML frontend and a PHP backend. I’ve already seen two awesome tutorials about Apache-Test (now with more PHP love!) and Selenium. I’m so in love with both of them, even though in some ways they don’t quite fit my needs yet. Apache-Test is very “Perl”, and maybe more concerned with making things easy for the tool-maker rather than the actual site-developer. Selenium IDE, through no fault of its own, is incompatible with a major Dojo trope called dojo.event.connect(). Frustrating!

They say there’s going to be 3000 people at OSCON this year, up from 2000 last year. A lot of the juice of the conference seems to be coming from the JavaScript and Ruby tracks… in contrast, the Perl and Python crowd seems bogged down in their everlasting Parrot issues. Generally the sessions seem very practical to normal professional engineers (and engineering managers!), with much less of the “Now we’re going to make a helicopter with nothing but a GPS unit, some duct tape, and Perl!” vibe.